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Jarvan IV Build Guide by Sacull_Kinslayer

The Exemplar of Tanking: Jarvan IV the DPS Tank. (In depth)

The Exemplar of Tanking: Jarvan IV the DPS Tank. (In depth)

Updated on December 22, 2011
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sacull_Kinslayer Build Guide By Sacull_Kinslayer 15 2 275,874 Views 58 Comments
15 2 275,874 Views 58 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Sacull_Kinslayer Jarvan IV Build Guide By Sacull_Kinslayer Updated on December 22, 2011
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Jarvan IV
  • LoL Champion: Jarvan IV
  • LoL Champion: Jarvan IV


Jarvan IV. My new favorite champion. And my favorite (and only) tank. I have other bruisers that I play and have had some success with. Mordekaiser, Dr. Mundo, Urgot, and others. But I have never had someone I could really tank with. All those other bruisers were more DPS than tank usually using 2 tank items and the rest DPS items. But they could not actually tank. Hard to kill sure. Good damage. But they could do what a tank needs to do to fulfill a tank role for the team. But Jarvan IV is different. He can be a bruiser and be a beefy DPS character. Or he can fulfill that tank role for the team. That is what I focus on with him. Are there better tanks? Yes. Are there better initiators? Yes. Are there better team oriented heroes that buff their team? Yes. But is there a better team oriented tank (with strong group buffs) who is a good initiator? I don't think so. He has 2 initiating maneuvers. One is his ult Cataclysm and the other is his Demacian Standard plus Dragon Strike combo. Oh and his Demacian Standard plus Dragon Strike combo also knocks up anyone it hits! He has a group attack speed AND armor buff with his E: Demacian Standard. He debuffs the enemy's armor with Q: Dragon Strike. He has a shield with W: Golden Aegis that gets stronger the more enemies that are near. AND it is a point blank area of effect (PBAE) slow! This guy has some team oriented tanking skills! Oh and he is one of the few heroes (and only the 2nd tank along with Shen) that has the innate ability to jump terrain with his Demacian Standard plus Dragon Strike combo. Finally. A tank with the group utility, survivability, and the abilty to escape that I like to bring to a game. I really don't understand why more don't play him as a tank when their team needs a tank. He fits the role nicely.

Check out my Vladimir Guide as well. Designed for Beginner's and Beyond. And here is my other Vlad Guide. Designed for a more advanced style of play.

And please feel free to comment with or without a vote. Tell me what you liked/disliked so that I may improve this little piece of work so that it might help others tank with The Exemplar of Tanking: Jarvan IV.

Also remember this is a Guide more than a Build. This is the framework, the road map. But every game is different and you have to be able to adapt to each situation as it arises. This is most important with tanks. To know what to build first and how. So please do not think this is all set in stone.

With all that said I hope you enjoy this little read I put together.

"And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
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Operation Human Shield My @$$! (aka A Warning)

"The risk to the cavalry... "

"Is acceptable. Agreed?

This is a TANK build. This build and guide is based and designed towards soaking damage, clearing the way, slowing enemies, ulting the enemies, and causing general havoc with the opposing team. That is what this guide is all about. It is not about getting the most killing blows or impressing people with triple and quadra kills. So here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you continue reading on.

IF you are someone who loves big kill numbers stop reading now. The only real big numbers you will have are assists. I generally have the most assists across the board. I average 15-30+ a match. My biggest assist total so far is 38. Normally for kills I might get 8. The highest kill totals I have had are 14 and 16. But those are the rarities, not the norm. More often than not I have 3-7 kills.

IF you don't like dying for your team stop reading now. I will most likely die in every match. It is inevitable. I go into every match KNOWING I will die for a teammate. Part of it.

IF you are timid or don't like to initiate, or you have trust issues when playing in the solo queue then you should stop reading now. If you do not like LEAPING into the heart of the enemy team then stop reading. If you don't trust other players following you into battle there are DPS builds elsewhere you should read.

IF being a tank isn't your thing, stop reading.

If you answered yes to any of the above then there are plenty of DPS guides and builds out there that you should look into and find the one that suites you the most. Or read several of them and come up with what fits your play style. And I don't say any of this trying to be mean or malicious. I am saying this to save you the reader some time. There is no reason to read further if being a meat shield isn't for you. Because that is what you are. You won't have a huge number of kills. It is very possible you will lead the team in deaths. But if played to full potential you will destroy everyone in the assist apartment. That is the flashiest number you will have. If that is not for you then I hope this section helped you to save yourself some time. But if that does sound interesting and rewarding then I hope you read on and learn to enjoy being a vital (but often under appreciated) cog in your teams victory.

"Operation Human Shield My ***!"

The Leave on the next one was from a game that never started. Once I left I get right back into a new game.
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0 / 22 / 8 build for a number of reasons. Increased MR from Resistance , Armor from Hardiness , HP from Durability and Veteran's Scars . I will admit that I am slightly underwhelmed by the top tier of the defense tree. But I personally think the offensive tree's top tier is even worse (except for specific champs... Karthus comes to mind with Requiem and Vlad with Hemoplague). With the defense tree you get a ton of HP, both per level and at level 1, armor, magic resist, move speed to initiate, cool down reduction, extra gold per kill/assist (which is HUGE! for Jarvan and the ton of assists you can rack up with him... my high in normal draft is 39 i think... 25 in ranked - do the math on that extra gold), 3% max HP, and the best part... 10% more tenacity. The 3% max HP is in its self lackluster as a top tier talent. Which this build I generally end up with 3200-3700 HP so that will add over 100 Hp... you get more from the lower tier talents but they all help some. The 10% Tenacity will help nicely against those heavy CC teams. Overall I truly think this is by far the strongest tree for Jarvan. The utility tree will add some much needed mana (200+ mana is 2 more E+Q combos you can pull off) and even MORE move speed. You can get the reduced death timer which is also very viable. And the Summoner Spell talent affects BOTH the spells that I run with him. So it works out so very nice. Fits like a glove.

All of these masteries are picked with laning for long periods in mind. The longer in the lane the more xp you get, the more farmed you get, and hence the more powerful and more effective tank you become. This is a tank build. So focus on the Defense Tree and Utility Tree. Whatever you may feel comfortable with here.
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Summoner Spells

  • Teleport: Helps you get back to your lane faster, maximizing your XP. Helps you push a lane by getting you across the map fast. And with your combo you can farm creep waves fast making tower pushing easier. Helps you defend Baron. And it helps you get back to the fight fast! The uses are many. It also allows you to go back to base as soon as you have the gold for Philosopher's Stone and lose little or no experience at all.
  • Flash: I recently began to appreciate this spell more and more. And after some useful advice I also realized the importance of this spell on Jarvan. That and I realized that Ghost wasn't as useful to Jarvan since he has so much CC and ability to escape.
Other useful Summoner Spells:

  • Ghost: SPEED! For catching or running. Whatever you may need. I have always loved this spell.
  • Ignite: Healing debuff and damage. Sweet.
  • Exhaust: A single target slow, melee miss chance, and reduced ability damage. Very nice.
  • Clarity: I don't recommend it but it has its obvious uses. If you think you need it buy blue mana per 5/level runes (along with your flat yellows). They will solve your woes.
  • Fortify: Has its uses. I have never used it with Jarvan but I have used it with other tanks. Can save your turrets. And adds to your melee damage.
  • Heal: With the buff to heal it has become a much more useful spell. Though not the best spell for a tank it can still have its uses but in general you want to leave this spell for supports or someone who uses Spirit Visage (i.e. Taric, Soraka, Vladimir, etc, etc)
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Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

Runes are person dependent. But this is what I suggest and why.
  • Greater Seal of Replenishment: Mana per 5. And Jarvan needs these. He is a mana hog if you are not careful. And they are cheap! 205 IP per.
  • Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Cooldown reduction runes are always useful. Especially with the recent nerfs to the cool downs of Jarvans skills. His cooldowns are pretty long now so these runes are even more important for Jarvan. Magic Resist blues are also useful here.
  • Greater Mark of Desolation: ArPen marks are probably the best marks a melee champ can get. Period.
  • Greater Quintessence of Desolation: Also a very nice rune for melee characters or tanks alike. If you don't think you need the HP early game and want to increase your DPS then I suggest these. They are what I run whenever I don't jungle with Jarvan.

Alternative Runes

Greater Quintessence of vigor

I use a few of these alternative runes, mainly the blue mana/5 per level runes because I used to mow through mana. I have also used Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. But those were personal preferences and I will explain why below. Here are some useful alternative runes.
  • Greater Quintessence of Health: Great simple tank runes. HPs are always useful... especially early game.
  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Also a very useful quint. Move speed is so underrated... especially with tanks/initiators. I used to use these with my rune set.
  • Greater Quintessence of Vigor: I have used one of these with my rune set up. It helps a lot with staying in the lane longer early game. It may not seem like a lot but along with Strength of Spirit and Regrowth Pendant it really can help a lot early game.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Classic tank rune. Great runes. The per/lvl ones don't catch up until lvl 10 so that is why I suggest the flat ones. (Unlike I who did my math wrong and bought the per level ones. Bah.)
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration: If, IF, you have mana problems like I used to have occasionally (rather often to be honest... I get a little cast happy harassing early game) these are some great runes. They are better than the flat blue ones at level 6 and are better than the flat yellows at level 8. Perfect. All your mana problems solved. Seriously. I used these and the flat yellows (along with the utility mastery) and I had little to no mana problems. Jarvan's greatest early game weakness. Solved. (Another way to really help this is to last hit well. That takes a lot of practice and timing. That is how I ultimately solved my mana problems.)
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"I am a slave. With only the power to please a mob."
  • (Passive) Martial Cadence: This is the one thing about Jarvan I am not a real fan of. On paper it sounds nice. And it gives a decent burst at the beginning of a fight against a healthy opponent. But the lower their health goes the less damage it does. It is nice that you can rotate to different enemies and spread the damage about. Sometimes it is better to do that and swap targets about to maximize your damage against a group.
  • Q Dragon Strike: Your reach out and touch someone ability. Has a nice range. Lowers the armor of all it touches. Syncs nicely with items like Zeke's Harbinger.
  • W Golden Aegis: I LOVE this shield. Yes it is not as beefy as other shields. But for a tank it is an awesome shield. It gets stronger with the more enemies around. Tanks are usually surrounded by those. And it SLOWS. All around you. That is an AMAZING tank ability! That is why I level this second behind Demacian Standard. See more on this in the next section.
  • E Demacian Standard: A small area of effect nuke. Your only true ranged attack. Great for last hitting creeps early. But that is just a side benefit. It gives attack speed and armor passively. Very nice for a tank. But that isn't the best parts of this ability. The last 2 are my favorite parts. It is a GROUP BUFF when cast! It gives all friendly champs your passive bonus (including stacking with your own). And it is the anchor to your combo! This is one of the most awesome tank abilities. I have 5 ranks in this ability by level 9. I always prioritize this ability. It's value to a team fight is oft overlooked and undervalued... but I promise you it helps. And it helps the ENTIRE team. (Remember to use this when your team is trying to take down a turret... it is like a mini- Sivir's On The Hunt...)
  • R Cataclysm (ult): This ult deserves a section all to its self. See below.
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Golden Aegis

I LOVE this shield. Shields have many uses and for a tank they are even more important. And this one gets better for each enemy that is nearby. And it slows. That is AWESOME! But there is another use for it that might save your life just as often. To take the brunt of abilities you can see coming. Better your shield to take the damage than for you to receive a blunt force lobotomy. Outside of your normal uses of when you need it, in a team fight, etc, here are some more specific uses that might save your royal hide. With your mitigation often times your shield will actually survive the attack often enough.

Ignite: Your shield can save your life against a ticking ignite.

Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow: Better to avoid this but if the impact might kill you then your shield should be used.

Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole

Dr. Mundo's Infected Bonesaw: Better to avoid but if you can't...

Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage: Better to avoid as well...

Heimerdinger's Hextech Micro-Rockets and CH-1 Concussion Grenade

Karthus's Requiem

LeBlanc and about anything she does if you are low on health.

Lux's Lucent Singularity and Finales Funkeln.

Miss Fortune's Make it Rain and Bullet Time.

Mordekaiser and anything he does when you are low health. Your shield is especially useful during the ticks of Children of the Grave.

Nidalee's Javelin Toss / Takedown. The Javelin Toss part you can shield against.

Nunu & Willump's Ice Blast and Absolute Zero. Preferably you will interrupt AZ... but if not...
Olaf's Undertow.

Pantheon and anything he does really. You can see them all coming.

Poppy's Heroic Charge and her Diplomatic Immunity. ("It's just been revoked!")

Ryze and everything he does.

Sion's Death's Caress and Cryptic Gaze.

Sivir's Boomerang Blade. Just make sure you get out of the way for the return trip.

Taric's Dazzle.

Veigar and everything the little Bond villain does.

Vladimir's Hemoplague.

Zilean's Time Bombs.
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E+Q: A Knock Up Combo.

Jarvan's combo. It has so many uses. It is useful in just what the 2 abilities do. Group attack speed and armor buff. Armor debuff. Knocks up anyone hit with the combo. It is harder to get off than many other hero's abilities that knock up but it is so worth it. This is also an AMAZING interrupt that people don't expect. Save it for when someone begins their channeled abilities. Nunu & Willump's ult, Malzahar's ult, etc etc. Any channeled ability can be interrupted with Jarven's combo.

The combo also an awesome escape mechanism. Being chased? Hop over some terrain. Trying to save your team? Cataclysm and combo your way out of your own ult, leaving it up to block the enemy.

The combo also allows you to cut off many getaway routes. Especially early game. I have jumped in front of many people trying to take a side route back to their turret.

There are better escape abilities. There are better knock ups. There are better group buffs. But none have them all in one. But then again no other champ requires 2 abilities to pull it off. Which also makes it a little harder to pull off sometimes. And also means it can be buggy at times.

Here is a picture showing the many possible ways you can use his combo to take shortcuts, get away, or cut off an escape. The red lines are the Combo Routes. The green rectangles are great places to put the ward from your Wriggle's Lantern.
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Cataclysm. Jarvan's ultimate, an expanded explanation.

"At my signal, unleash hell."

The proper (or improper) use of this ult is what will make or break a Jarvan. Learn WHEN to use it, when to keep the wall up and when to dismiss it (by hitting R again). Using it at the wrong time (or not dropping the wall in time) can work against you and end up killing your team instead of the desired effect. This is the only ult that can backfire for the user and his team. But when you use it right it is a devastating ult. Nice damage and the wall can trap a team (or an annoying hero... like Teemo) and let you and/or your team destroy them and there is nothing they can do about it. The synergy this ult gives with many heroes is amazing. But perhaps the most important use for Cataclysm might be to save your carries and dps from death by sacrificing yourself by blocking the way or enemy team with Cataclysm. And hope you can do your Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike combo to get away. Also you can use Cataclysm to trap the enemy front lines, Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike through your wall, and jump a carry BEHIND their team causing mass disruption with their squishier targets.

At a tower and they are diving you? Cataclysm onto them in tower range and watch it melt them. And while this may not always kill an enemy (if there are several) it can also save your turret if they get damaged enough. Sometimes it is worth dying to save a turret.

They just ganked Kog'Maw and killed him? Cataclysm on top of all the offenders and let Kog get revenge from his death bed.

Does that annoying Teemo always manage to get away with his insane speed? Cataclysm onto him and watch him melt as his global taunt aggroes your whole team.

Katarina on your team? Trap their team with Cataclysm and let her Shunpo and Death Lotus on them.

Annie on your team? Cataclysm on them plus an Pyromania empowered Summon: Tibbers and watch their team melt.

Caitlyn on your team and someone is trying to get away before she can snipe them? Cataclysm them and watch the sheriff work.

Warwick getting ready to gank your opponent? Cataclysm them to keep them from running. Warwick can ult through your wall no problem.

Nunu & Willump is ulting and people are trying to get away. Cataclysm them to keep them inside his ring of death.

Shen tanking along side of you? Cataclysm their team and let Shen taunt them all. DPS feast!

Cho'Gath causing nightmares with you? Cataclysm their team and let him stomp and shut them up. NOMNOMNOM!

Blitzcrank chugging with you? Cataclysm and let him rocket grab them into your turret. OR if he grabs someone into the turret Cataclysm on them and let the turret feast!

Malzahar wants to use his ult but can't catch someone. Cataclysm them and watch Mal laugh.

Have a Veigar on your team? Cataclysm plus his Event Horizon plus Dark Matter plus his Primordial Burst will guarantee death.

Swain pecking people's eyes out? Cataclysm and let him Nevermove and ult them. Quote the Raven. Nevermore.

Brand is an amazing teammate for Jarvan. Trap as many as you can and let him Pillar of Flame and Pyroclasm.

Cassiopeia slithering around on your team? Cataclysm and she can Petrifying Gaze everyone who is stuck. DPS feast!

Laning with a Poppy? Hehehe. Live or Die. Choose. Let Poppy point out the dead and you initiate near a wall. Cataclysm's walls doesn't stop Poppy from executing her combo.

Nocturne. My new favorite jungler. My buddy Nazgrim is amazing at Nocturne. The Jarvan + Noc combo of ults is amazing. A well timed combination of ults spells insta-death for someone because he can ult through your walls.

Up against an annoying LeBlanc? When you get her down below 40% and she Mirror Images just ult either image. (More specifically if one moves first ult it.) You will trap them both and if her other spells are down... she is most likely dead.

Your team is running and you know that you all are not going to get away? Cataclysm on to the chasers (try to grab as many as you can and block the path) and make your last stand. You may even be able to do your combo and make it out yourself. Regardless SAVE YOUR CARRIES! This is one of the MOST important TANK jobs. Some say the most important. The ability to save your carries is what separates Jarven IV, Shen, Rammus, Amumu (and the other tanky characters with roots, knock ups, stuns etc) from the Mordekaisers and Dr. Mundos of the LoL world. Now this doesn't mean I don't like those characters. I personally like (and play) both of them. But they are not tanks. They can soak up tons of damage but ultimately... neither can do much to save their carries. Mundo can sometimes with his Infected Bonesaw but that is just occasionally. And he can only hit one at a time.

And my personal favorite use. This is also one of the main reasons I use Teleport. After about minute 25 you should always have a ward at baron. When you see them engage baron time your entrance. It takes 4.5 seconds to port. Assuming that your entire team is going to try and stop them this is where you can create pure havoc. Teleport in on top of them. Cataclysm the biggest threat to your team. Do your combo BACK OUT through their team (knocking up as many as possible). Cast Golden Aegis. By this time you have caused them to panic, hopefully kept their biggest pain separated from the fight, initiated, and slowed them. By this time your team be arriving and cleaning up the mess you started. I have done this many times and almost every time it worked out amazingly for us. This however WILL NOT work if they basically make Baron melt. The key is basically timing your ult to get you there about 3-4 seconds before your team arrives. They become so focused on you that your team can come in unadulterated. These are just some examples. Cataclysm is an ult that pretty much creates a synergy with EVERY hero, whether being used offensively OR defensively. I have saved SO many of my teammates with Cataclysm. And to be honest I have also killed a few because of it. But most of them would have died anyways if I didn't try to save them.

"We who are about to die, salute you!"
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Counters to Cataclysm and Tips on Countering the Counters.

Here are a list of heroes and skills that can counter Cataclysm.

Flash: Self explanatory.

Teleport. If you don't interrupt it then it can allow them an escape.

Guardian Angel. Know whether or not they have one and if it is up before you use it.

Akali's Twilight Shroud and Shadow Dance. Twilight Shroud she can cast in the walls just so you can't see her. And she needs nearby enemies (creeps, neutrals, or heroes) to use Shadow Dance to escape.

Alistar's Headbutt. He can knock YOU out of the walls and keep you from doing damage to him.

Amumu's Bandage Toss. If there are enemies nearby (creeps, neutrals or heroes) he can use it to get out.

Anivia. Similar to several of the previous heroes Anivia has no direct counters but her passive can save her from your ultimate if you cannot kill her if her Rebirth is up. You have to factor Rebirth in if you are trying to kill her. Also remember that your ult is a perfect place for Anivia to put Glacial Storm so be aware of her capabilities when using Cataclysm.

Blitzcrank. If you are using the ult to keep him from catching a teammate he can still Rocket Grab them. Also remember that he can Rocket Grab YOU through your own ultimate's walls to save a team mate of his.

Caitlyn's 90 Caliber Net. It can knock her right out of your ultimate.

Corki's Valkyrie. Self explanatory.

Evelynn. Shadow Walk makes it hard to kill her if you can not see her.

Ezreal's Arcane Shift will get him through the walls.

Fiddlesticks. Crowstorm teleporta him so it can counter your ult if you cast it on him during his channeling and do not interrupt it with your E+Q combo. This situation is one of the rarest and likely will never happen.

Fizz. Playful/Trickster. Need I say more. We all hate it. It is much better than Vlad's Sanguine Pool ever was and doesn't even hurt Fizz to use.

Gragas's Explosive Cask for sure will knock you out of your ult's walls. I am unsure if Gragas' Body Slam will get him out of the wall. Fairly sure it will though.

Irelia's Bladesurge. If any enemies (neutrals, creeps or heroes) are nearby she can use them to get out.

Janna's ult Monsoon can get rid of you. Remember that when going after her. Ult in after she casts it and E+Q her to interrupt it.

Jarvan IV. His ultimate will get him out of your ultimate if there are any enemies nearby. Also his E+Q combo can get him through the walls of your ultimate.

Jax's Leap Strike.

Karthus. While he has no true counter to Cataclysm be VERY careful trapping Karthus in it. Even if you kill him he has Death Defied. And if your combo is down YOU ARE TRAPPED (if you don't remember to cancel your ult fast enough) inside your own walls while he has Defile running and is casting Wall of Pain and a couple Lay Wastes. Then to top it off you are probably about to get hit with Requiem. Just be careful.

Kassadin's Riftwalk. Probably not even worth trying to hit him with Cataclysm unless you are using it as a nuke.

Katarina's Shunpo and Death Lotus. She is one of the most dangerous to trap in a team fight. I have seen so many Jarvan's ult Kat in the middle of a team fight and she just Death Lotus and end up with a triple kill because the walls trapped Jarvan's team. She can also use Shunpo just to get out of the walls.

Kayle's Intervention. If Kayle is on their team remember that spell.

Kennen. Lightning Rush will pass through your walls. Beware of Slicing Maelstrom.

Kog'Maw. Much like Karthus even when he is dead he not quite yet dead. Remember Icathian Surprise. Trap him, kill him, then get out of there. Leave the walls.

LeBlanc. Don't. Even. Bother. Between Distortion, Mimic, and Mirror Image it is hardly worth the time. If you are going to ult her then try to wait till after she has used her other abilities (including Flash).
Malphite. Unstoppable Force can get him into your ult.

Malzahar. While no actual counter his ult Nether Grasp can make you useless while your walls are up. But then again he is not going anywhere either.

Maokai's Arcane Smash and Twisted Advance. Arcane Smash can knock you out and Twisted Advance can get him out of your walls if there are nearby enemies (creeps, neutrals, or heroes).

Master Yi's Alpha Strike. It can get him out of your walls (or put him back in your walls) if there are nearby enemies (creeps, neutrals, or heroes).

Morgana. While no true counter if you don't interrupt her Soul Shackles you have locked yourself in perfectly for it.

Nidalee's Bushwhack / Pounce. With pounce she can jump out of your walls.

Nocturne's ult Paranoia. He just has to find someone to ult to get away. He can also ult INTO your walls. They do not stop him whatsoever. Also remember that Unspeakable Horror works while he is still attacking you... and unless you interrupt it it is pretty much guaranteed to go off on you because you can't get away (if you don't drop your walls).

Pantheon. Not a true counter but if you jump him while he is getting ready to Grand Skyfall then you can't stop him (unless you kill him). Not even sure you can interrupt it.

Poppy. Diplomatic Immunity obviously. Heroic Charge can knock you both out of you walls because they don't count as terrain. Be careful ulting her near terrain.

Renekton's Slice and Dice. Pretty straight forward.

Shaco's Deceive. It is a direct counter to the walls of Cataclysm. Shaco also has Hallucinate that is an indirect counter to your ult. One thing about Shaco is if his abilities are on cool down he is VERY weak... but when his abilities are available he is very strong 1v1... and hard to pin down.

Shen's Shadow Dash and Stand United.
Singed's Fling will toss YOU over your own walls.

Sion. He has no actual counters to your ult nor any indirect ones. I mention him here because IF you misuse your ult and accidentally trap your team with your ult around a Sion then his Death's Caress can end up killing your team. Keep that in mind.

Shyvana. Her Dragon's Descent can get her out of Cataclysm

Swain. He has no real counter either BUT he is worthy of a discussion because your walls will trap you (and anyone else) into an area that is perfect for his Nevermove and Ravenous Flock. Dangerous to say the least.

Tristana's Rocket Jump allows her to escape your walls. Also she can knock YOU out with Buster Shot.

Tryndamere's Spinning Slash will ignore your walls. Also be wary of his ult Undying Rage.

Twisted Fate's Destiny can let him escape if you do not interrupt it.

Twitch's Ambush. If you can't see him (or her, or it whatever the case may be) you can't kill it.

Urgot's Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverse can get him out IF there are enemy champions near.

Warwick's Infinite Duress allows him to escape if there is an enemy champion near. It also shuts you down if you have him trapped should he use it on you. Try to remember if he has used it recently.

Xin Zhao. Not 100% sure but I think Audacious Charge will get him out of it if there are enemies near.

Zilean's ult Chronoshift keeps him from dying. Look and see if it is on him. Try to get him to waste it before you jump him.
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Weird Bugs with Cataclysm and the Knock Up Combo.

Here are a few of the bugs I have found with Cataclysm:

If you ult Shaco when he Hallucinates then your walls will not appear. Not even sure if he takes the damage from the nuke.

If Shaco Deceives while you are ulting him then your walls will appear but you will go right through them following Shaco.

If you ult LeBlanc as her Mirror Image goes off the walls won't form.

If you ult and you die in the air or as you land the walls will not form.

If you ult and your target Flashes 1 of 3 things will happen. 1) You will follow them to wherever the Flash takes them. This can be both good or bad. If you don't want them to get away that is good. But this also includes to underneath a turret. So it can also work against you. Or option 2) you will ult and and the wall will land where they were but you will land where they are, which could be good or bad or 3) You will ult and they will be somewhere else and you will be left in your walls alone holding your spear and looking kind of silly.

Only one bug I have seen with the E+Q combo. When you are using E+Q to jump terrain then (sometimes) if you get hit by some normal abilities (not CC abilities) it can cause you NOT to go to where your standard is. Your spear will connect, you will start to move towards it, and then you will stop and never make it. As if you can't go over terrain. But it doesn't always mess it up.
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A Note on Jarvan's DPS with Tank Items. And some low level tips.

Some people will just look at this and say that with no DPS items he cannot effectively tank. Both parts of this statement are wrong. Jarvan can tank great regardless of his DPS. He can initiate and keep his carries safe with multiple (count them 3) different forms of CC. E+Q combo, W, and R. Few heroes (tanks included) have this much CC. And it ALL can affect multiple targets. And as far as DPS well with his Martial Cadence and Demacian Standard steroid buff alone his melee DPS is very underrated. Not to mention his Dragon Strike lowers the armor of your target(s). Which further increases your innate melee DPS. People always seem surprised when he actually hurts them. And through tank items such as Wriggle's Lantern, Sunfire Aegis, and Atma's Impaler (or even Hexdrinker) his dps increases even more while not losing ANY of the tanking ability gained.

With these builds here are some substitutions you can make to increase your dps if you find yourself in a situation where you need to have more dps.

If you want to go more DPS with a build (that uses Atma's Impaler) instead of Randuin's Omen or Banshee's Veil you can get Warmog's Armor, Aegis of the Legion, Hexdrinker or Leviathan. Warmogs, Leviathan, and Aegis of Legion are nice if you don't have one pressing mitigation need and you can just generalize with HP (or all 3 with the Aegis). This works especially well with a tank Jarvan since you will have great mitigation by that time anyways.

Also to note that early game the passive is very effective at harassing as it does huge damage before people have armor. And the more health they have the harder it hits. So early game if you can hide in bushes, pop out, hit them once, and pop back in. After 6 secs do it again. And Demacian Standard hits very hard early game. Remember to use it and your combo plus an auto attack to take some serious HP away from your enemy. Even if you don't get a first kill you can usually deny or make someone very under farmed with your ability to harass. And if you don't have to focus on them as much so you can focus more on last hitting.

Also if you need a lot more Magic Resist you can double up Force of Natures. That is something I have done on several occasions to negate heavy AP teams. Hexdrinker can be valuable here as well.
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Tank Build #1

Item Sequence

Wriggle's Lantern 1800
Mercury's Treads 1100
Heart of Gold 825
Randuin's Omen 3000
Frozen Mallet 3100
Atma's Impaler 2300
NOTE: Remember that this is all a guide. None of these builds are set in stone and you should always adapt as the game dictates.

Core Build #1

Starting Items: #1 Regrowth Pendant, 1x Health Potion or 1x Mana Potion. Use this setup if you want to start off with the Philosopher's Stone over the Wriggle's Lantern. This allows you to sustain longer and starts your gold supply very fast.

Starting Items: #2 Cloth Armor, 3x Health Potion, 1x Mana Potion (or 5x Health Potions). At the beginning you can even wait for like 5 secs and buy another Health Potion (should you buy a mana potion) but I have not found this necessary. I get the mana potion because well, Jarvan can be a little mana intense early game and since I generally don't even need the 3 health pots I get I decided that a mana pot is nice to have if I need it. And I always do use it. The Cloth Armor helps you stay in lane longer early game and it builds to your most important early game item.

Early Game

Philosopher's Stone: I have to admit I was wrong about this item. This is such a sweet first item. This is the first item I buy now. I go back and buy it immediately when I can. And since I also use Teleport I don't lose any farm time. Getting this early REALLY gets your gold stores going fast. And money fast is always good. Oh and it gives you nice lane sustainability. You can sell this once you need your last item.

Item 1 Wriggle's Lantern: This is more important than boots. This is your farming tool. You will mow through creep waves with your E+Q combo. You will also heal up nicely while farming. It also allows you to put a ward out every 3 minutes. Sweet. And if you don't have a jungler it allows you to go and jungle with ease allowing another of your team to have solo XP. You should be able to buy it by level 5 or 6 at the latest. Level 4 if you have had some nice luck early. This item is so grossly under appreciated. I do not understand why. Especially for a tank.

Item 2 Mercury's Treads: There is no other option for tank Jarvan. Ok technically if their team has like NO CC and NO magic damage then you might get Berserker's Greaves but that is very very rare.

In general I will not go back until I have enough to buy Wriggle's Lantern and Boots. That is around 1600g. I would not go back before I can buy Wriggle's period. If I am going to go jungle I will go back for Wriggles as soon as I can. Otherwise I try to wait till I can get the speed 1 boots as well.

Heart of Gold (HoG): In general go ahead and purchase this around this time after you have your boots and Wriggles.. It will help speed your gold along while you are building your tank items. And since it builds into Randuin's Omen there is no sale back loss at all.

Another tip here would be if you don't have time to build up gold stores or need both magic resist and armor then after you buy HoG get a Negatron Cloak and a Chain Vest and then build your items. I have done that rather often and it works nicely against well balanced teams/lanes.

Mid Game

These 2 items are interchangeable depending on what the biggest threat is on the opposing team or what your biggest need is. If it is a mage or AP carry you need magic resist. If it is an AD carry you need Armor. Choose accordingly. If you need to farm faster while still being beefy get Sunfire Aegis. But this is my usual order.

Item 3 Force of Nature: I love this item. Huge resist. Big HP/5. Extra speed! And a passive that heals you even more! Man what a sweet tank item. You COULD get Banshee's Veil here instead and get FoN later. But I like FoN first. Oh and it's UNIQUE Passive is basically Mundo's passive. I LOVE this item.

Item 4 Randuin's Omen: A very nice item that gives Armor, HP/5, Big HP, and an awesome ACTIVE PBAE slow that compliments the one you have, Golden Aegis. Randuin's also compliments Atma's Impaler nicely.

Late Game

Item 5 Frozen Mallet: Big HP + Attack Power + on hit slow. The big HP helps a lot thanks to your massive mitigation and it increases your damage. Plus it adds to your arsenal another slow. And it adds a beautiful synergy with Atma's and gives you another 14 AD because of it.

At this point you will have over 100 Armor and over 100 Magic Resist because every item you have gotten has one or the other. No wasted slots. 105 armor and 101 magic resist with just items alone. Over 50% damage reduction against both damage types. Team fights usually get kicked off hard during this time. Enjoy being very hard to kill.

Item 6 Atma's Impaler: The cherry on top. AD for HP. Crit chance. And more armor. This underrated and cheap item makes a tank be able to really put out some damage late game.

Item 7 Zeke's Harbinger or Bloodthirster: What?!?! Item 7?? Since when? Well if the game has progressed this far it is time to upgrade Wriggle's Lantern to something better. Any DPS item you like can go here really. Whatever your game may need. Infinity Edge is a favorite of some. I prefer Stark's because it adds more HP/5, AS, and armor pen if no one else on your team gets one. It synergies well with what jarvan already is as a tank. AND it buffs your team with more AS, ArPen, and HP/5. Sweet. And you don't lose your lifesteal from the transition. Bloodthirster is also an excellent choice here with its big AD bonus and lifesteal. Try to work towards 2 items that work well together with items 6 and 7.

The point of this build should be fairly obvious. To tank and tank well. Huge armor and resists. And through the build still have DPS because of items like Wriggle's Lantern, Sunfire Aegis, Atma's Impaler, and Zeke's Harbinger should the game go that long. This is was my first core build and is one I enjoyed. If I am the only tank or tanky DPS I still will use this build. It offers superior survivability if you are having to soak up all the enemy team's damage and focus.
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The DPS Tank

Item Sequence

Wriggle's Lantern 1800
Mercury's Treads 1100
Warmog's Armor 3000
Atma's Impaler 2300
Force of Nature 2900
Frozen Mallet 3100

Item Sequence

Mercury's Treads 1100
Wriggle's Lantern 1800
Aegis of the Legion 1200
Warmog's Armor 3000
Atma's Impaler 2300
Force of Nature 2900


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

I use this rune setup for this build for a number of reasons. 1) Armor Pen is always useful. 2) CDR Blues. Always nice. And they help with his relatively long cool down on his skills. Though you can easily substitute the CDR blues for the Magic Resist blues.

Mastery Setup

The new mastery trees kind of hurt my DPS Tank. But not by much. The 6 Armor Pen is way too far down the tree now to be used for an effective tank. However the offensive tree can still be useful if one wants to use it. I will be testing out a couple builds for the DPS Tank. 9/21/0, 19/11/0, and 0/22/8. The 19 Offense will give some extra AD, 10% ArPen, some nice sustain with 3% life steal and armor, magic resist, and HP. If you are going to be solo top and not the main tank this mastery setup will work. And it is more offense oriented. However I would probably just go 19/11/0 if I wanted to be more offensive. But I don't think that is the most optimal setup for Jarvan. And so enters the 0/22/8 setup that is the same as my main tank setup.

These builds are focuses more on mitigation through good resists and a huge HP pool.

Tanky DPS.

I am not a fan of this phrase. I am not. I understand it just fine. I just don't like it. And maybe it is the build that I tend to dislike. Boots. Trinity Force. And a couple tanky items. Sure it works on plenty of heroes. But I just tend to not like it. Now granted on Irelia and a farmed Nasus it is a beast of a build. But both of those heroes don't need a lot of AD to actually do damage. However Jarvan is not like those other 2. And not only that... even as a "tanky dps" he tends to die so fast. And I have even seen and heard the "pros" talk about that. Initiate, do as much damage as you can while you can, die first, die fast. And maybe I have been spoiled by pure tanking with him but I prefer to live as long as I can and cause as much destruction as I can. And with that in mind I have been experimenting with a different build that is not only a tank build but is also a more cost effective build... much more so than most Tank or Tanky DPS builds.

The Core of this build are the first 4 items you purchase after Philosopher's Stone. They give big resists and big HP allowing for great early game tanking while also giving you extra dps, a free ward, and a group buff.

Item 1 Philosopher's Stone
Item 2 Wriggle's Lantern
Item 3 Mercury's Treads
Item 4 Aegis of the Legion: This is an amazingly underrated item. It helps your team all the while giving the tank the 3 most important things he requires: HP and mitigation. Oh and it throws in some AD. Nice.
Item 5 Warmog's Armor: People despise this item but it is amazingly useful if you have mitigation. See more about this item in the section: Warmogs vs Madred's.

These items will put you over 100 resist (50% reduction) for both magic Resist and Armor. And with the Warmogs you will have a HP pool of over 3k (up to over 3.6k once stacked... 4K plus is possible depending on item purchases) making you very hard to kill and very disruptive for the opposing team. The Warmogs is by far the most expensive item in this entire build making this build very manageable even if you are not getting fed or farming well.

This build offers good mitigation, a great amount of HP, and nice damage. With Jarvan's skill set that is just a mad combination. The last several times I have tanked with him I have enjoyed this set up quite nicely.

Once you have these core items you have to evaluate what you need to do to help your team the most. If you need even more mitigation there are choices to enhance your DPS and tankiness. The most obvious ones are Hexdrinker or Banshee's Veil and Atma's Impaler. With both of these items you will have over 140 in both resists and over 210 AD. Or if you only need one type of resist over the other then you can focus on that whether it be the Drinker or Impaler and then use your other item for a DPS item. Namely the The Brutalizer ---> Youmuu's Ghostblade. More on this item in the next section.

Pure DPS Tank:

If you feel that your already huge HP pool and mitigation will suffice for all your tanking needs then you can go a more DPS build using the following item(s).

The Brutalizer ---> Youmuu's Ghostblade: What these items do for you is simple. It gives you 2 things you are lacking (CDR and Armor Pen) and a very nice ACTIVE Passive along with more AD. The CDR will allow you to spam all your disruptive and CC abilities even more often than you usually would. I love this item.

After the YG you can get whatever item you need for the DPS tank. Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster, Trinity Force, Frozen Mallet, or even some tanky items (like Guardian Angel or Banshee's Veil) if you need. The possibilities are endless and are only limited to what you may need in the game you are playing. Atmogs, Fatmogs, Triatmogs are all viable options. This build gives you a lot of flexibility.

The DPS tank build is quickly becoming my new go to build. Only thing I hate is the loss of the active slow from Randuin's Omen. I love that active. And the move speed is a little slower. But if you get the TriForce then you make up for some of that speed.
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Alternative Items Discussed

  • Bloodthirster: Lifesteal and Attack Damage. Hard to argue with that.
  • Zeke's Harbinger: Stark's adds more HP/5, AS, and armor pen. It synergies well with what jarvan already is as a tank. AND it buffs your team with more AS, ArPen, and HP/5. Sweet.
  • Infinity Edge: while not a tank item this item is a big boost to DPS and would make a great number 6 item if you don't need the armor that Atma's gives. It will add more AD and more Crit% along with the bigger crit damage but it costs a lot more. Overall it is a good buy IF you don't need more defense or just want more UMPH! to your damage. This item also goes well with either Zeke's Harbinger or Bloodthirster depending on what you need/want. You could even buy Atma's Impaler first (since it is much cheaper) and then sell and UPGRADE it to the Infinity Edge for some serious UMPH! late game.
  • Trinity Force: An amazing item. It really is. On a lot of heroes I really like this item. I could talk about the greatness of TriForce or I could talk about the negatives of it but bottom line this Jarvan guide is based on tanking. TriForce is a DPS item. So let the DPS or Tanky DPS/Offtank builds talk about it. It has no real place in a pure tank build in my opinion. HOWEVER if you decide to get it I would get it as the last item you get as something to put you over the top. The reason being is TriForce is one of the MOST EXPENSIVE items in the game and rushing it will put your tanking so far behind. You will need to be able to tank long before you could ever get triforce and your first major tank item. NOTE: You can also get this as your seventh item when you sell Wriggle's Lantern if you don't want the lifesteal component anymore.
These 4 items will be your main DPS items. And you want to get them according to the synergies you have in place with your team and also wit the thought of what you are facing. If your team has several AD Carries or Fast attack speed heroes then look into Zeke's Harbinger. Or if the opposing team has good armor throughout. However if the opposing team is not stacking armor or if they have several low HP squishies then look more into the pure AD items such as Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster. Your choice of DPS items later on could decide the game. Always try to work with your team's makeup. That is part of being the tank.
  • Black Cleaver: Attack Speed, Attack Damage, and an Armor Debuff. Very nice.
  • Aegis of the Legion: Nice item here. Adds HP, Armor, Magic Resist, and Attack Damage. Hard to argue with that if you want to use it.
  • Randuin's Omen: A very nice item that goes well with Atma's Impaler. Adds armor, HP, and a nice PBAE slow similar to your W. Oh and slows attackers on attack. Very nice against a strong melee team. IT also gives Cooldown Reduction. A nice item.
  • Thornmail: Great against melee strong teams. Especially champs like Master Yi and Tryndamere.
  • Hexdrinker: Nice against an AP strong team and squishy mages.
  • Wit's End: Also could be nice against mage heavy teams.
  • Guardian Angel: Another classic nice tank item.
  • Shurelya's Battlesong: Not a bad item but not one I would suggest. It has its uses though. More for supports though.
  • Frozen Mallet Goes well with Atma's Impaler. With your natural fast attack speed Jarvan can really take advantage of this item. But with all of Jarvans other CC I think it is a bit overkill. However situations may arise where it can be a very useful item. (Usually when you face a stupid fast team.) EDIT: I am currently testing this item out more extensively. I think I was wrong about this item. It has infiltrated my core build.
  • Sunfire Aegis: A nice tank item. This item helps you farm and is very nice because you are usually surrounded by enemies. However if you use this item be wary of neutral mobs when low on health. You will aggro them if you get too close to them. Also note that the area damage is magic so if they are stacking Magic Resist the utility of this item drops. Though I still like it regardless. Just hope someone on your teams has an Abyssal Mask.
  • Eleisa's Miracle: +25 Health Regen per 5 sec, +20 Mana Regen per 5 sec, +35 Tenacity. Get this only if you need tenacity and didn't get Mercury's Treads. However I don't really think this item is worth it even in that situation. Though it could have its uses.
  • Cloak and Dagger: +20% Attack Speed, +20% Critical Strike Chance, +35 Tenacity. Only get if you don't get Mercury's Treads. This one might be slightly more useful than Eleisa's Miracle for Jarvan since he uses items that sync well with Cloak and Dagger such as Zeke's Harbinger, Atma's Impaler, and Infinity Edge.
  • Manamune: This item I see both sides on. With item's like Frozen Heart, Banshee's Veil, and the ability Strength of Spirit it makes this item very tempting. And it helps with the mana issues of early game. With 2000 mana (which you would have will over) it adds 40 AD. With 3000 mana it adds 60 AD. Which mana wise is around what you could potentially have. And then some. If anything this is more of a DPS Jarvan item. The problem with going pure tank and using this item is it delays your tanking items and tanking ability. Even if you just get Tear of the Goddess and wait till later to upgrade to Manamune. You won't be able to tank when the team fights start. Because to make Manamune effective you need to get Tear of the Goddess first. Which delays Wriggles. And delays your main tanking items. Now if you manage to have an amazing early game and are up on levels and gold you can probably pull it off. Otherwise I only see this as a DPS build item at best.
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Creepin 'n Crawlin: Laning and Jungling

"Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so."

Farming. It is one of the most important things to do well early game. If you become under farmed or out leveled you WILL NOT be as effective as a tank. You actually will probably fail if the team fights begin and you don't have any tank items. Learn to last hit. Learn how to use your E+Q combo to farm complete creep waves. Learn to clear a creep wave, jump to the jungle, kill a creep camp, and get back to the lane. Once you have Wriggle's Lantern your farming becomes MUCH simpler. You can pretty much wipe a creep wave with just your combo. What does survive you can just last hit them.

DO NOT underestimate the power of farming well. I have been on a team that the reason we won was ONLY the fact that we ALL had farmed similar numbers as the opposing team's 2 solo lanes. And had far out farmed the opposing teams bottom 3. Good farming is a major advantage.

Also being able to clear a creep wave fast can save you and your turret from a turret dive. Learn where to place your E so when you cast Q you will hit all creeps with your combo. Being able to do this will make the enemy think twice about diving you and your turret if they have to soak up the damage.

IF the time comes where you know they are going to dive then cause them as much pain as you can. Optimally you want to do your combo to knock as many of them up as possible and then Cataclysm on top of them and hold them at the turret and let the turret tear them up.

Option 2 on when they turret dive is to Cataclysm them under the turret and use your combo to get away. I have done this to kill a few people before.

Jungling (from the lane):

Jarvan can jungle. He can jungle from level 1. But I am not going to talk about that. I will let Stonewall or some of the other jungling pros talk about that. What I am going to talk about is IF your team does not have a jungler then after you get Wriggle's Lantern you should go jungle assuming your lane partner can handle the 1v2. Skip getting Philosopher's Stone if you plan on jungling late and go straight to the lantern. Jarvan is a very effective jungler and a good ganker from the jungle. Always get the red buff. Let a mage have the blue buff if you don't have mana problems (which you shouldn't at this point). Jungling (even this late) can give your team an advantage of an extra solo lane. You have to be more watchful though because it is also easier to push a tower now. That is another reason I love Teleport. I can get across the map. Fast. If needed.

Dragon is VERY important. Jarvan can solo him. Easily. The key is watching your minimap and making sure wards are up in case they try to gank you. Try to save your combo for escapes if you think they may be coming. Another thing you can do is gank bottom and try to push the creep wave to their tower. While they may be trying to recover you can get your bottom lane to come help you secure a quick dragon kill.

And ALWAYS ward something... usually Dragon or Baron Nasher.
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Item Sequence

Wriggle's Lantern 1800
Mercury's Treads 1100
The Brutalizer 1337
Warmog's Armor 3000
Atma's Impaler 2300
Force of Nature 2900
Youmuu's Ghostblade 3000


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

Stonewall's Jungling Jarvan Videos

Here are Stonewall's video on jungling with Jarvan. I don't think I can explain it better than one of the best. Here is a video he put together to show the route and help explain jungling with Jarvan.

This one is with the new Mastery Tree and the updated Jungle.

He doesn't get a leash and clears the first wolf camp before moving to blue. I like to kill the big wolf and then kill blue. Saves time. Especially if you get a leash on both. Which you should be able to do if your mid pays attention. Also with my setup you will start with about significant more HP than Stonewall does. Allows for a safer time jungling.
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Top Lane

philosopher's stone

I have personally found that Jarvan is even better at the top lane than he is at jungling. At the top lane he can sustain well, last hit well, harass the enemy, and survive ganks better than most with his ability to escape.

Focus on last hitting. Learn to last hit with both your auto attacks and your abilities. If you can get that down you can farm like a boss up top. And once you get Wriggle's Lantern your farming becomes easy. You can clear creep waves with just one use of your combo and a couple of auto attacks.

And if you find yourself getting pushed back to your tower and having to play defensively then your combo works wonders on protecting your tower. Clear out the opposing creep waves with your combo plus auto attacks. With your health regen and mana regen you can just about hold out forever. Well... if not forever you can hold out a lot longer than most champions.
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The Tank: Your Place in Things and Team Fights

"Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."

The Tank

First off in general Jarvan can take a solo lane with not much of a problem. But the reason I generally take the bottom duo lane is very simple. 1) To provide even more security for your jungler and 2) There are too many better choices for a solo lane. Namely your carries should get first choice of a solo lane. They need the farm more and it is much more important that they get their farm going than for you. I have had several games where I could tank the opposing team easily but because my carries were underfarmed they couldn't dps as they should. Which leads to bad things. Doesn't matter how great the tank is farmed if the carries don't dps the opposing team down. And as I find myself as usually the only tank I have to be as tanky as possible with no wasted items or time.

Team Fights

In team fights, when that time comes, you have to be prepared to die. That is your job. To die so your carries don't have to. To do EVERYTHING in your power to protect your carries. Now that doesn't mean throw your life away. It means exactly what it says. If there is a chance to save a carry then you should do what is needed to save them.

Initiation. That is your specialty. Multiple ways to initiate. And then launch a PBAE slow to ensure runners can't run. Learn when and where to initiate. Learn with what to initiate. Also learn when to drop the walls of your Cataclysm i.e. learn when to use Cataclysm as a nuke, when to use it as an initiator, and when to use it as CC.

Once the fight has began if you have used your combo then the next part is moot. If you haven't used your combo then you need to use it for their effects... not their damage (the damage is secondary as a tank). Your combo is a team attack speed buff, team armor buff, an enemy team armor debuff, and a knock up if you connect the 2 skills. This is a HUGE advantage for your team if your buffs and debuffs have all been applied.

After the fight has started 1 of 3 things will happen. 1) Your team will begin pushing them 2) You will be getting pushed back or 3) relative stalemate. Depending on which scenario your role will change.

1) Your team is pushing them. Your role will change to preventing people to escape once they start running. Use your combo to either catch up to them or knock them up and W to stop them from fleeing. And use your ult if it is up.

2) Your team is getting pushed back and people are starting to drop or getting close to dying. Your role now is that of a tank. To do what you must to prevent your team from taking more losses. Use your combo knock up to delay the enemy and then W to slow them. Repeat this process as much as you can. Once you know your team is clear now it is time for you to get out... if you can. Use your combo to jump some terrain and get out of there.

3) Stalemate. Make sure you cast your combo EVERY time it is up. It's buffs/debuffs and the knock up is SO important during team fights. Now the ONLY time I would not cast it once it is immediately up is if you are facing someone with a channeled ability. Then I would save it for them. Otherwise keep casting them every chance you got. Remember to use Randuin's Omen if you got it or any other activated abilities. Also remember to target the CORRECT enemy with your attacks. Yea with your knock up and Q you want to hit as many as you can including tanks. Otherwise you should be focusing on attacking the squishies or any targets that are low on health. Keep pressure on them and they will either die or leave the fight. If they leave the fight advantage goes to your team.

In general IGNORE attacking targets such as Dr. Mundo, Mordekaiser, Tryndamere (while ulting) or any character with a Thornmail. Mundo and Morde are annoying and all but they are not the threat. Mundo doesn't do damage except with his Infected Bonesaw. His W does some damage stacked with Sunfire Aegis but he isn't a threat to kill much by himself. Morde can do some damage but he isn't going to stop anything from getting to his carries. Know what and who to attack and don't waste your time with solo artists and non-threats.

"If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!"
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Warmog's Armor: Some people swear by it. Some people like it. Some people hate it on any hero. It forms a nice synergy with Atma's Impaler. I personally do not use it often on Jarvan. I let a person decide for their own self on this item. But the Madred's Bloodrazor argument against using Warmogs is one of the silliest arguments I have ever seen. Why? Because 1) it doesn't matter if you have 1000 HP or 3000 HP it does a PERCENTAGE of your HP in damage. 4% is still going to have to be multiplied by 25 to get to 100% no matter how many HP you have. 2) The damage from Bloodrazor is MAGIC damage and people forget about the mitigation. A Jarvan tank has a ton of magic resist. Which further negates Madred's Bloodrazor. Most people don't factor that in when they think about it. Here is some math for you

For our examples we will assume we are facing someone who does 100 damage + the 4% from Madreds. Yes that number is low but it is an easy number to work with.

First example we will use 2000 HP

4% of 2k is 80. So our opponent will be doing 180 damage a swing to us. So in 11-12 swings we will be dead. That is with 0 mitigation factored in.

Second example we will use 3000 HP. Basically it is the First example but we just bought Warmog's Armor and we haven't quite leveled it up all the way.

4% of 3k is 120. So our opponent will be doing 220 damage a swing to us. It will take 13-14 swings for him to kill us. That is with 0 mitigation factored in.

Hmmmm interesting. Now lets factor in some Magic Resist. Let's say we have enough magic resist that it reduces the damage by half. So instead of 4% he will be doing 2% magic damage to us.

2000 Hps. 2% of 2k is 40. Now our opponent is doing 140 damage a swing. So now it would take 14-15 swings to kill us.

And now what if we have Warmogs and mitigation. 2% of 3k is 60. So he does 160 damage to us. So now it will take our opponent 18-19 swings to kill us.

And NONE of this is even factoring in Armor which Jarvan Tank will also have plenty of. But even without the armor if you factor in Warmogs then it still takes LONGER to kill a person with Warmogs than it does one without it. I am starting to believe the anti-Warmog idea was started by people so they wouldn't have to face people with it.

So there it is. Warmogs. Math. Madreds. Jarvan. I have given you the information. It is up to you to decide if you want to use it or not.

Warmogs... why it is good (or bad). This link is an in depth discussion to the Warmogs dilemma. And is pretty well written and provides multiple different arguments both pro and con.

EHP Chart. This chart is very nice and shows different items and the per cost effectiveness and mitigation effectiveness.
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General New Players Suggested Guides and Tips

I have found these guides, discussions, links to be extremely useful to all players. Not just for using Jarvan. and because it is just too good not to link...

And a tip.

It is NEVER a sure thing. You still have it to do. And it is never over until they vote 4x yes or you last hit the Nexus. Otherwise you can still lose. I was in a game once where we won with a score of 13-37 (it was 5-29 at one point)... all because they got overconfident and we won in one push after our only ace. It can happen.

"People should know when they are conquered."

"Would you? Would I?"
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Patch 1.00.115 on 4-12-11

* Wriggle's Lantern
o Combine cost increased to 150 from 75
o Life Steal increased to 18% from 14%
o Changed proc to magic damage from physical damage

* Heart of Gold
o Recipe Changed: Ruby Crystal + 350 Gold
o Now gives: +250 Health +5 Gold per 5
* Randuin's Omen armor reduced to 53 from 80

I don't mind the Wriggle change much but the Randuin's nerf kind of hurts. However the item is still a fantastic item and should be used if needed. (Edit - they addes Cloth Armor to Randuins which buffed its armor back up to 75. Awesome.)

Patch v1.00.118 on 5-10-11

Jarvan IV

* Dragon Strike
o Cooldown increased to 10/9/8/7/6 from 9/8/7/6/5
o Mana cost increased to 45/50/55/60/65 from 40/45/50/55/60
* Golden Aegis shield strength reduced to 50/90/130/170/210 from 50/100/150/200/250
* Cataclysm damage reduced to 200/325/450 from 200/350/500
* Fixed a bug where Jarvan IV's banner caused a hitch the first time it was cast

* Sunfire Aegis area of effect damage per second reduced to 35 from 40

These changes don't hurt tank Jarvan that bad. It does affect DPS Jarvan much more though. The Golden Aegis nerf does hurt tanking some but again... DPS Jarvan will feel it more.

Patch 1.00.120 on 6-22-11

Jarvan IV

o Demacian Standard
* Armor reduced to 10/13/16/19/22 from 10/14/18/22/26
* Attack speed reduced to 10/13/16/19/22% from 10/14/18/22/26%
o Martial Cadence damage reduced to 8% from 10%


o Philosopher's Stone health regen per 5 reduced to 18 from 22.5 and mana regen per 5 reduced to 8 from 10.
o The gold per 10 component of Philosopher's Stone, Heart of Gold, Kage's Lucky Pick, and Avarice Blade is now unique to itself.

Conclusion: The actual skill and passive nerfs hurt. But again as the previous nerfs have shown this will affect tanky dps and dps Jarvans much more than a tank Jarvan. So I am not as worried about those nerfs. Where it will affect a tank is early game harass that martial cadence allowed. And it will hurt the raw dps a tank Jarvan could do. But it will not interfere with Jarvan doing his duty as a tank whatsoever. The Gp10 item nerfs will hurt dps jarvans more as well. I only ever used 1 Heart of Gold anyways and I never had problems building items. To be honest I was hoping they would nerf it down to a flat 1 Gp10 item on a hero period.

League of Legends v1.0.0.121

Jarvan IV
* Demacian Standard
o Cooldown increased to 13 from 12
o Damage reduced to 60/105/150/195/240 from 60/110/160/210/260
* Dragon Strike damage reduced to 70/115/160/205/250 from 70/120/170/220/270

Another Jarvan nerf? He is becoming the next Vlad. Again this won't bother the tanking ability of Jarvan as much but his DPS is taking a hit here. And the cooldown timers does hurt a little.
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Final Thoughts, Fixes, and a Shout Out.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy this little read and I hope it helps you play the excellent tank Jarvan better. If you have any questions ask away. And if you have any suggestions by all means post them as well. I am by no means a tank expert but this is what works for me. And I hope you enjoy. And remember that your comments, thoughts, and suggestions are welcome. So please vote if you like it. Or if you don't let me know what is wrong and I will try to improve it. I will be adding things in as they come to me or as people suggest it. This is an ongoing process and I hope to continually update this guide.

Shout Out:

And here I must give a shout out to the guy who talked me into playing Jarvan IV as a tank. He gave me the foundation and the confidence I needed to try it. And I loved it. We have discussed theory and items and such. He has his build and I have mine. But here is to Nazgrim. Thanks bro. You helped me a lot. And now I hope to help others.

To Jhoihjoi: You have helped me so much with both your opinions and your work with people's guides. I have slowly been editing my guide and there is no way I could have ever done it on my own. Thank you for all your hard work. Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!


"I will see you again... but not yet... not yet..."
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Updates and Errata


  • 3-22-11 expanded section on Golden Aegis
  • 3-23-11 fixed a math error with Manamune
  • 3-25-11 added a screen shot
  • 4-3-11 added a section on characters, skills, and items that counter Cataclysm. Also added a alternative build.
  • 4-4-11 added a section on Warmogs. Redid the builds.
  • 5-27-11 added a screenshot for the E+Q combo.
  • 6-5-11 added some new builds and testing out a new core build. I think it may become the permanent main build.
  • 6-22-11 added patch notes.
  • 7-30-11 small update.
  • 9-3-11 Updated some text. Added in two small sections on Solo Top Lane and Jungling.
  • 11-10-11 Happy last binary day of our lifetime...
  • 11-11-11 Happy Veteran's Day. To all those who ever served you are my Heroes. And I thank you for answering that Summoner known only as UncleSam. I added more description to the DPS Tank section and cleaned up some things.
  • 11-30-11 Added text discussing the new mastery setups. Added new jungle video (props to Stonewall)
  • 12-4-11 added my jungle tank build.
  • 12-11-11 updated my Jarvan jungle build to what has been working better for me. Did an extensive update cleaning it up and making it look smoother.

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide